By Malcolm C Hobart.
Published by Pen & Sword Aviation
ISBN: 978 1 84884 894 8
Review by Mark Barnes for War History Online

Well, here we go again with another of those totally unreviewable books I love. This time we have what is effectively a collector’s guide and it comes in a handy paperback format so it will fit in your pocket when you’re out scouring the stalls at militaria events or boot fairs. It is a hoot. The text is very informative and the photographs are excellent, being done in that enticing way that makes you want to start collecting yourself. They draw you in and it wouldn’t matter if they were matchbooks or cotton reels, you’d be hooked. This is dangerous stuff. I learned an awful lot not just about the Royal Air Force, but also the Royal Flying Corps and other organisations such as the Air Transport Auxiliary and the Royal Observer Corps from this book.  There is much to learn from here and the author really knows his stuff. If we did a star rating on WHO this book would get all five, but we don’t, sorry Malcolm.

What else do I have to say? I would like to see images of the uniforms, which are only described in text form. Pen & Sword do you read my reviews? Why not produce a bigger version of this book in coffee table format with more illustrations showing all the kit and caboodle with archive photos and all the lovely badge stuff in this volume and put it out for an additional tenner? It would be a winner. Then collectors could either keep it lovingly at home with their treasures or stuff it in the car when they go out hunting. Just my opinion – but it all makes sense to me. Is it me, or are the plethora of badges of this sort more or less unique to the crazy Brits? Regardless of whether this is true or not I would welcome more books like this. Get to it Pen & Sword.

Buy on Amazon

By Mark Barnes / Visit his amazing facebook page: For Your Tomorrow

Mark Barnes

Mark Barnes is a longstanding friend of WHO, providing features, photography and reviews. He has contributed to The Times of London and other publications. He is the author of The Liberation of Europe (pub 2016) and If War Should Come due later in 2020.